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ARCHITECTURE

 
     
 

The Baltit Fort building is a basically very interesting wooden and stone structure with mud plaster. It is a three story building, with granaries and some stores in the basement on a glacier moraine hill with man made narrow terraces for the stability of its ancient foundations above the ancient cluster village of Baltit.

ph1: By Knight. E.F December 1891

By Knight. E.F December 1891

Historically this fortified village of central Hunza, was called Agaai Koot*, the “Heavenly Fort” which eventually became Baltit, because of a slight language influence of some Balti migrants to Hunza in the early fifteenth century along with princess Shah Khaton from Baltistan as craftsmen. Because in Baltit language the words “Elte and Delte” are used to say Here and There, hence from word Elte, to day sister village of Altit and from word Delte village of Baltit has manifested.

On the first floor of Baltit Fort, most of the stores, main kitchen, guards rooms, a dungeon, a winter guest room, large winter house and private meeting room are existing connected to each other through labyrinths. The second floor of the building contains a very impressive open terrace with a royal throne under a beautiful Mogul style wooden canopy, living rooms, bay windows with balcony and breath taking views of the Hunza and Nager valley on both sides of river Hunza, running from east to west surrounded by awesome high mountains of Rakaposhi (7788 mtr), Diran Peak (7257 mtr), Golden Peak (7027 mtr), Ultar (7388 mtr), Bubulimoting / Leady Finger 6000 mtr high. On the third floor of the Fort, there is beautiful tiny mosque with a verandah on two sides and a shelter for night guards on its north eastern corner.

ph 2: By D.L.R. Lorimer 1930s

By D.L.R. Lorimer 1930s

But the most important and very interesting feature of this structure is, its wooden cribbage work called by locals “Kator”, which is the real reason of its stability over centuries, despite various natural hazards until today.

ph3: By Gulraiz Ghouri October 2008

By Gulraiz Ghouri October 2008

The old beautiful woodcarvings are very prominent eye catching impressions of this building, which are adopted in many new constructions now in Hunza valley. To have an idea of its structural arrangement it is helpful to have a look on these sketches and photos.

*Agaai is a Shina language word, and its origin is Sanskrit word Aakaash meaning sky

 
     
 
     

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